Fact Sheet: Doing Business 2016 in Sub-Saharan Africa

October 27, 2015


What are the ranking trends?

  • Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa have an average ranking on the ease of doing business of 143.
  • Mauritius has the region’s highest ranking, at 32. Rwanda has its second highest (62), followed by Botswana (72) and South Africa (73).
  • Other large economies in the region and their rankings are Kenya (108), Nigeria (169), and Uganda (122).
  • Those with the region’s lowest rankings are Eritrea (189), South Sudan (187), and the Central African Republic (185).
  • Rwanda ranks among the best in the world in Getting Credit (2) and Registering Property (12).
  • Average rankings for Sub-Saharan Africa show the most room for improvement in Getting Electricity (149), Trading across Borders (136), and Paying Taxes (131)—all areas where it ranks last among regions. In cross-border trade, for example, completing border compliance procedures takes an exporter in the region 108 hours and $542 on average, compared with a global average of 64 hours and $389.

What are the reform trends?

  • Thirty-five of 47 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa (74 percent) implemented at least one reform making it easier to do business in the past year, 69 in total—up slightly from the annual average of 67 reforms over the past 5 years.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 14 of the 32 reforms globally in Getting Credit. Of the 14 reforms, 12 focused on improving the availability of credit information—more than in any other region.
  • The region accounts for 5 of the 10 top improvers this year. These 5 are Uganda, Kenya, Mauritania, Senegal, and Benin.
  • Rwanda implemented the most reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa in the past year, with 6. Kenya, Madagascar, and Senegal followed with 4 reforms each. Some details of the reforms:
    • Rwanda implemented a credit scoring service in May 2015, supporting the ability of banks and other financial institutions to assess the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. And it made starting a business easier by eliminating the need for new companies to open a bank account in order to register for value added tax.
    • Kenya launched government service centers offering company preregistration services in major towns, reducing the time required to start a business by 4 days. Ten years ago, starting a business in Kenya took 54 days. Now it takes just 26 days—less than the regional average.
    • Madagascar strengthened minority investor protections by requiring that directors with a conflict of interest fully disclose the nature of their interest to the board of directors.
    • In Senegal the electricity utility improved the regulation of the connection process and lowered the cost by reducing the security deposit.
  • Members of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa were particularly active: 14 of the 17 economies implemented business regulation reforms in the past year—29 reforms in total. Twenty-four of these reforms reduced the complexity and cost of regulatory processes, while the other 5 strengthened legal institutions.


Source: Doing Business database.

Note: The rankings are based on the average of each economy’s distance to frontier scores for the 10 topics included in this year’s aggregate ranking. This measure shows how close each economy is to global best practices in business regulation. A higher score indicates a more efficient business environment and stronger legal institutions. The scores for both Doing Business 2015 and Doing Business 2016 are based on the new methodology.